W.S. Anderson (ed.), Ovid's Metamorphoses Books 1-5. Norman, University of Oklahoma Press, 1997. Pp. 578. $49.95. ISBN 0-8061-2845-3.
Reviewed by Ingo Gildenhard, Princeton University, (ingog@phoenix.Princeton.edu) and Andrew Zissos, University of Texas at Austin (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Twenty five years ago William Anderson (henceforth "A.") published a very useful commentary on the second pentad of Ovid's Metamorphoses. Books 6-10 were chosen, said A. at the time, "because the stories in them are even richer than those in Books 1-5 and because many of them have never received sympathetic commentary." A quarter of a century later A. has turned his attention to the initial books of the poem, a project which presents the commentator with a rather different set of challenges. With Ovidian studies now a major field within Latin scholarship (thanks in no small part to A. himself), and the initial books of Ovid's Metamorphoses still the most widely read and discussed portion of the work, a commentary on Books 1-5 inevitably involves revisiting some very familiar scholarly territory. In addition to the monumental tomes of Boemer (Heidelberg 1969-86), there are a number of slender commentaries on individual books which offer basic and useful guidance on language, style and sources. The fine commentary on Book 1 by A.G. Lee (Cambridge 1953) remains an important landmark in Ovidian studies; and while the rather narrow philological study of Book 2 by J.J. Moore-Blunt (Uithoorn 1977) has less to offer most readers, the commentary on Book 3 by A.A.R. Henderson (Bristol 1979) continues to serve a valuable pedagogical function. Somewhat closer in scope and design to A.'s own project is D.E. Hill's bilingual edition of Books 1-8 (Bristol 1985), which treats a larger stretch of the poem and is particularly valuable for its assessment and presentation of Ovid's sources. The field persists in its frenetic pace: Alison Keith has a commentary on Book 4 forthcoming in the Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics series, while Alessandro Barchiesi has organized a major commentary of the entire Metamorphoses to be written by an international team of prominent Ovidian scholars.1 Finally, Stephen Hinds and Alison Keith have written important book-length studies on 5.294-678 and 2.549-835 respectively. What, it is fair to ask, does A.'s commentary add to this dense field?
In fact, the commentary offers a great deal, in large part because of its generous pedagogical inclinations. A. provides a readable and engaging commentary of medium size aimed at the advanced undergraduate or beginning graduate reader which covers the opening books of the poem and makes available a sound Latin text.2 While there is (not surprisingly) relatively little original scholarship, A. has done a masterful job of making Ovid's poem accessible to contemporary Latin students. The volume contains an Introduction (pp. 3-41, based on its predecessor in A.'s commentary on Books 6-10), a Text (pp. 45-145, essentially a reprint, with mostly minor changes and without critical apparatus, of A.'s own Teubner edition of 1977), the Notes (pp. 149-568) and a reasonably detailed Index (pp. 569-578).
The introduction consists of six sections. A. first offers a short survey of Ovid's career, followed by a synoptic rush of roughly a page through the Metamorphoses' first 2000 years of reception. The third section, on the poem's plan and tone, moves at a more amiable pace. Not everybody will agree with A.'s repeated emphasis on the relevance of metamorphosis to our everyday experience, his endorsement of Fraenkel's psychologizing, or his own modernizing tendencies. Anxieties of identity and the experience of alienation are by no means anthropological constants, and likening Kafka to Ovid, as A. does on p. 9, raises serious historicist scruples. But the Ovidian novice will encounter in these pages an engaging mix of Bugs Bunny and references to "Roman morality and social values" as well as a concise treatment of the overall plan of the poem and a discussion of some of the techniques Ovid used to keep his carmen perpetuum going. The fourth section, on "Ovid the Poet at Work" is easily the most successful. A. here offers a careful and detailed reading from the Io episode to exemplify the ways in which Ovid selected and organized his material for special narrative effect, and how formal features like style (under which A. includes generic markers, such as elegiac elements), figures of speech, and metrics contribute to the overall impact and meaning of the tale.3 A. here convincingly complements the necessarily more fractured discussion in the commentary, showing with a sustained and wide-ranging analysis of an individual passage how different facets of Ovid's art interact in the creation of overall textual meaning. Readers coming to Ovid from Vergil will appreciate A.'s comparative analysis of Vergilian and Ovidian metrics which concludes this section. A. then adds a short discussion of the manuscript tradition with a list of the most important witnesses.
The Introduction ends with a selected bibliography, which at a mere 47 items is perhaps a little too selective. Moreover, the principles of selection appear to be slightly erratic. For example, A. provides five specialized entries on the manuscript tradition which are not appropriate to the level of the commentary as a whole, especially given the absence of a critical apparatus. Perhaps more helpful than inclusion of the textual criticism of Jahn (1832) and Slater (1927) would have been mention of Tarrant's rich and insightful review of A.'s earlier text (on which see note 5, below). Also notably absent from the bibliography are the aforementioned commentaries of Henderson and Hill and the superb introduction and notes to the Melville translation by E.J. Kenney (Oxford 1986).
As indicated, the text A. prints is virtually identical to his own Teubner edition, apart from some changes in punctuation (2.819, 3.151) and the occasional misprint (2.471: for adultera'? read adultera,'; 5.224: for timidissme read timidissime.4 In a few places A. introduces obvious improvements over his earlier edition, as in 2.518 where the text now reads et vero quisquam (instead of the colorless est vero cur quis), a reading adopted by G.P. Goold in his revised Loeb edition of 1977 and D.E. Hill. A. nicely justifies the reading in the notes, explaining the intertextual affiliation with Vergil's Aeneid. Yet the most significant alteration occurs in 1.2 where A. now prints illa (instead of illas). Ever since E.J. Kenney's powerful attack on illas, more and more Ovidians have begun to champion this reading -- and for good reason.5
The commentary proper takes up the lion's share of the volume, over 400 pages. It consists of a generally judicious blend of plot summary, help on translation and points of grammar, philological observations, notes on the literary background, and points of interpretation. A. commences his commentary on each book with a summary of the entire book, then gives summaries of individual sections before proceeding to a line by line commentary. Individual sections are sometimes subdivided further, with each subsection also receiving a summary (e.g. pp. 161-6 on The Succession of Ages). This amount of summarizing may seem rather lavish but it is a helpful service for beginning readers who might have difficulties grasping the plot, context, and narrative arrangements of stories as they puzzle their way through the Latin.6
Without a doubt, the most successful aspect of A.'s commentary is its unwavering pedagogical drive. This volume will find an enthusiastic readership among students at both the undergraduate and beginning graduate levels, clearly its intended primary audience. A. has an uncanny gift for anticipating difficulties of translation, and providing concise assistance.7 Examples of well-judged interventions can be found throughout, but a few particularly astute cases deserve mention: p. 321: in dealing with the difficult sequence at 2.735-6, A. notes that "the ut-clauses continue, but they cannot logically depend on the arrangement of the chlamys (733-34); we may supply a verb like curat, 'he sees to it' (cf. cura, 722)"; p. 480: A. distinguishes between deum, accusative singular in 4.609 and deum, syncopated genitive plural in the same metrical position of the following line; p. 520 he points to a relative clause occurring before antecedent (a feature helpfully noted in the commentary no fewer than 18 times). A. is also very good at providing information on syntax and style, and offering basic explication of rhetorical and metrical devices, especially at the beginning of the commentary (e.g. pp. 156-7: anadiplosis, litotes, anastrophe, hyperbaton; p. 160: synizesis, antonomasia).
A. seems to have mastered the Ovidian technique of relating the mythological material of the Metamorphoses to the concerns of the present day. References to contemporary American culture run the gamut from Garfield the Cat to the Space Shuttle Challenger, whose disastrous explosion after take-off is likened to Phaethon's crash-landing (p. 263). A little later (p. 273), A. judges Sol's (excessive) grief and Phaethon's death by modern standards, saying that "a drunken driver or teenager who steals a bus and crashes may earn pity, but each does earn death by losing control of the vehicle." At the conclusion of this tale A. casts Ovid as something of an animal rights activist, who chides Sol for beating his horses (p. 274). Some will see these modern similes as distracting, but they are a deliberate part of A.'s approach, and will surely appeal to the majority of his readers. The commentary also features some rather nice word play, as, for example, when A. refers to Phaethon's "driving ambition" (p. 245). Such manifestations of an almost Ovidian wit make for pleasant reading.
A. perhaps overemphasizes discussion of textual issues: some notes are useful for this kind of commentary, others are clearly addressed to a specialist audience and take up too much space, especially given the absence of a critical apparatus. In addition, A. frequently engages scholars whose work is likely to be unavailable to those without access to a research library. This is likely to make certain notes unpalatable for a broader audience (e.g. pp. 207, 242, 258, 343, 462). On the other hand, some notes on the text will intrigue even the undergraduate reader since they probe the thematic implications of textual criticism. Particularly interesting in this regard are a discussion on p. 200 of Heinsius' conjecture Latiis for laetis at 1.560, and a note on p. 472 where A. links a discussion of the text at 4.538 (Graium ... nomen) to the etymology of Venus' Greek name.
A smattering of factual mistakes or inaccuracies can be found in the commentary, which will hopefully be corrected in a second edition: p. 9: Diana turns Actaeon into a stag not a bear; p. 226: the assertion that the Phaethon episode concludes at 2.366 (implied in the heading and reiterated on p. 269) is unconvincing, and seems contradicted by A.'s own analysis on pp. 227-8; p. 298: the mention of the Capitoline geese who will save Rome (2.536-9) is not an "obvious anachronism" but rather a simple anticipation (geese exist in the narrative present; their Capitoline heroics are explicitly located in the future, as indicated by the future participle servaturis); p. 307: Apollo does not "wallow in self-pity" at 2.612-3 (his reaction is self-loathing, coupled with a vigorous, though unsuccessful, attempt to save his beloved); p. 312: A. states that "Ocyrhoe begins a third prophecy, about herself" but the text (restabat fatis aliquid) allows no such inference; p. 317: there is no "play of reflexives" in the phrase me mihi, perfide, prodis, since me is clearly not reflexive and mihi is at best a second-order reflexive; p. 347: the anonymous voice telling Cadmus about his upcoming transformation into a snake is not situated in a tree (what is needed here is a reference to the conclusion of Euripides' Bacchae, which is supplied only on p. 475); p. 354: A. apparently assumes that Diana is fully immersed in water, but it is quite clear that she is not since the nymphs use urns to draw water and shower her down; p. 371: A. presumes that Tiresias' declaration on sexual pleasure was incorrect ("Tiresias lost his eyesight as a sign that he woefully lacks basic knowledge about men, women, and sex"), but the text does not say so; p. 389: A. opts for not identifying Acoetes with Bacchus, but that takes away a great Ovidian irony in Acoetes' remark about Bacchus nec enim praesentior illo / est deus (3.658-9) -- contrast Kenney's precise and penetrating analysis of the complex intertextual gestures Ovid makes to Euripides' Bacchae (the stranger is anonymous) and Pacuvius' adaptation of the Euripidean play (the stranger is named Acoetes). Kenney comes up with the opposite (and, we think, more attractive) conclusion: "Ovid does not identify Acoetes with Dionysos but clearly expected his audience to do so"; p. 499: A. claims that "Vergil makes the winds, penned in by Aeolus, a pack of animals (Aen. 1.52ff.)" -- but Philip Hardie has established beyond any doubt that the winds are cast as Titanic prisoners of Aeolus (cf. vinclis et carcere, Aen. 1.54)8; p. 501: A. states that Phineus is speaking at 5.27-9 when in fact it is Cepheus; p. 549: A. misleadingly refers to the author of the Homeric Hymn to Demeter as "Homer".
In addition, there are a fair number of misprints, which would appear to be the product of a non-Latinate typist or perhaps computerized optical character recognition gone awry. For example, upper-case "I" repeatedly occurs as lower-case "l" and vice versa (p. 160: lapetus, again on 186; p. 184: lovisque; p. 296: Iaesae; p. 415: Iongoque foramine; p. 431: lunonigenaeque and so on. The only redeeming moments occur on p. 20 where Jupiter in the ablative becomes "love", and on p. 166 when justice is transmuted into "lustitia", a new abstract noun with an amusing bilingual kick; these are translingual metamorphoses that the poet himself might have enjoyed. Other errors attest to somewhat careless proof reading: p. 23: for "circumlocation" read "circumlocution"; p. 32: for netamque read natamque; p. 150: for "when" read "When"; p. 174: "Ovid derives this epic compound from Vergil, who seems to have invented" (add: "it"); p. 206: for "he in" read "he is" p. 237: for sit. trepidet read sit ... trepidet; p. 281: the lone letter "s" appears instead of the indefinite article "a"; p. 293: for fixuras read fixurus; p. 295: for honorates read honoratas; p. 340: for "trances" read "traces"; p. 384: for "I an" read "I am"; p. 558: for Alphei, narravit amores read Alphei. narravit amores (i.e. narravit is the beginning of the following note) . Finally, there is a small number of incorrect citations: for example, p. 281: the reference listed as "328" should be 3.28; p. 455: the word incerto occurs at 388, not 378; p. 531: the story of Dercetis is found at 4.44-46, not 2.44-46.
For a commentary that is so helpful in so many ways, there is one important respect in which it comes up a little short: A. frequently fails to provide a list of principal works (primary and secondary) to which the reader might turn for further reading. Given the admirable pedagogical slant of the book as a whole, this is a surprising deficiency. Too often, references to important works which provide valuable further discussion on the passage in question are either unmentioned or are not drawn to the reader's attention as forcefully as they might be. At p. 299, for example, A. notes that "the role, motivation, and frequent punishment of the informer become basic themes of the poem" in the latter part of Book 2, without pointing the reader to Alison Keith's The Play of Fictions (Michigan 1992). A.'s discussion of the "somewhat inappropriate comparison between Cadmus and Aeneas, Thebes and Rome" (p. 339), would have profited from a reference to Philip Hardie's important study of the Vergilian intertexts in Ovid's Theban narrative ("Ovid's Theban History: the First 'Anti-Aeneid'?" CQ 40 (1990), 224-235). Likewise, the excellent discussion of Vergilian intertexts and epic standards in the Perseus episode (especially pp. 499-502), might have mentioned the discussion of the very same issues in Otis; the belated mention of Otis on p. 508 will not alert most readers to the importance of this work as "further reading". But perhaps most surprising of all is the failure to mention Stephen Hinds' seminal and highly accessible work The Metamorphosis of Persephone (Cambridge 1987) -- which provides a detailed analysis of the bulk of Book 5 -- beyond citing it as an authority for Ovid's familiarity with the Homeric Hymn to Demeter (p. 526).
Similar reticence is occasionally found in A.'s treatment of primary literature. For example, in the introduction to the section on "The Silver and Later Ages" (p. 163) A. adduces only Hesiod as Ovid's source without mentioning Aratus or Vergil's Georgics. But in the last individual note to this section (p. 166), A. in a subtle argument traces Ovid's phrase Virgo ... Astraea back to Vergil (Virgo) and Aratus (Astraea). Clearly, there is more going on here than mere Alexandrian play with signifiers: these references are implicated in a larger thematics, since they invoke countermodels to the Hesiodic Ages of Man, on which Ovid primarily relies. While it might go beyond the scope of the commentary to explore the implications of a correlation of an ascending and descending view of human history, a reference to Vergil and Aratus at the beginning of the section might have set an enterprising student on the right track.
A. has a tendency to opt for moral interpretation rather than exploring the intricacies of Ovidian poetics, an approach that has dominated the field since the influential studies of Peter Knox and Stephen Hinds. To some extent this is a generational difference, and one that needs to be respected. At the same time, a commentary whose evident goal is to introduce Ovid's poem to new readers might have tried a little harder to bridge the gap. A. has never made a secret of the fact that he is unfavorably inclined towards some of the recent tendencies in Ovidian scholarship. In his 1989 review of Hinds he stated that "it was daring to pursue the self-conscious Ovid as an insistently programmatic poet, obsessed with generic issues. Because of the limited success at this pursuit, we now perhaps should realize that we can find Ovid more surely in the actual Roman world, as one who raises questions about Augustan values, explores the tragic failures of love, and evokes our sympathy with human feelings.9 Clearly, the two approaches are not mutually exclusive: an episode can be laced with programmatic intertextual or generic gestures and still offer a meditation on human experience. At times A. explores the possibility: on pp. 334-5, for example, he rightly notes the deployment of "the vocabulary of love elegy" at 2.847-51, while at the same time deriding "Jupiter's sleazy decision". Moreover, A.'s alertness to Vergilian reminiscences is superb and the commentary often goes considerably beyond existing scholarship in its illumination of marked epic diction. Too often, though, A. gives the formal aspects of Ovid's art short shrift, opting straight-away for a moral reading.10 Occasionally this is taken to an extreme, with A. supplying a moral reading in spite of Ovid's text. Thus on p. 335 A. notes that at 2.857-9 "Ovid plays with metaphors of peace and war ... but he omits the relevant imagery of treachery, insidiae". Relevant, one is tempted to ask, to whom?
Although A. is generally eager to promote Ovid as a first-rate poet (he quite frequently corrects Boemer on that score), his lack of interest in Ovid's formal agenda still has him handing out a less than stellar report card at times. At p. 152, for example, A. writes that "[Ovid] offers a muddled, indefinite account of human origins." That is certainly one way of describing Ovid's eclectic agglomeration of sources in this passage, where Lucretius, Hesiod, Homer, Stoic philosophy and Epicurean elements all make an appearance. A more profitable approach might involve consideration of the metaliterary game that the poet is clearly playing: Ovid offers a highly intertextual account of human origins, inviting the reader to pursue the conceptual and literary implications of his narrative palimpsest.11 The point is that verdicts of quality often depend on the methodological tools and perspectives of the critic.
A.'s observations on words or phrases with special contemporary relevance for Ovid's original audience are invariably prudent and successful (e.g. p. 162 on vindex, p. 165 on gener and socer, p. 166 on the political resonances of gigantomachy, p. 204 on popularia, p. 348 on civil war, p. 462 on royal housing, p. 471 on gratia).12 In general, however, the approach to the poem is somewhat ahistorical. Instead of an ethnosemantics of difference, which would challenge the reader to explore Ovidian poetics and Roman culture as an essentially foreign terrain with its own logic and regulations, A. consistently opts for a reading policy of collusion, assimilating the poet to the moral horizons which A. himself endorses. Inevitably, the moral evaluations of a late 20th century Western academic, however astute, provide an inadequate frame of reference.13 A properly historicist exploration of how Ovid's original audience might have responded to his poem is a highly complex enterprise. Some of the issues that would need to be taken into consideration include the Roman sense of humor, discourses of power and sexuality, the status of fiction and myth in Roman society, habits of reading (note that A. takes it for granted that Romans disapproved of fictional behavior in the same way they would disapprove of behavior in real life), and the field of poetic production in general (performance setting, likely audience, etc.). In short, reconstructing the meaning of the text in its original context of production is an intricate undertaking -- especially when entertaining such elusive notions as morality and humor in a literary work of art.
Reviews are by nature primarily an exercise in negative thinking. If in the foregoing we have devoted as much space to the shortcomings of A.'s commentary as to its obvious merits, this should not detract from our initial positive evaluation. A. has succeeded in producing a fine commentary on the opening books of the Metamorphoses that will undoubtedly prove to be immensely helpful and attractive to the student readership at which it is primarily targeted. Over the course of his illustrious career, A. has done much to revive interest in Ovid at all levels, and this latest volume continues in the same tradition. We sincerely hope that in the coming years he will see fit to produce the final installment of this valuable series, a much-needed introductory commentary on the final pentad of Ovid's epic.
1. Books 1-3 of the series (to be published by Valla) will be covered by Barchiesi himself, 4-6 by Gian Piero Rosati, 7-9 by Stephen Hinds, 10-12 by Charles Segal, and 13-15 by Philip Hardie.
2. Hill's aforementioned volumes on Met. 1-8 come close to fitting the bill, but offer somewhat less help for the student reader. Moreover, a Latin text with facing translation is not always an ideal pedagogical tool. An additional important service that A. has rendered is to make many of Boemer's valuable observations on the poem available to a non-German readership. Boemer's commentary on the Metamorphoses is indispensable as a research tool, but inappropriate as a teaching aid for undergraduate and graduate reading courses. A. has distilled the indigestible scholarly mass of his predecessor with a deft touch, thereby bestowing a unique benefaction upon the novice Ovidian reader.
3. On the difficult issue of distinguishing levels of style from a genuine thematics of genre, see the debate between G.B. Conte and J. Griffin in Galinsky, K. (ed.) (1992), The Interpretation of Roman Poetry: Empiricism or Hermeneutics? (Frankfurt a. M.) 104-136.
4. It would perhaps have been useful for A. to print a list of deviations from his earlier Teubner text.
5. Kenney, E. J. (1976). "Ovidius Prooemians" PCPS 22, 46-53. Besides Kenney (referred to in the commentary) and Kovacs (listed in the Selected Bibliography), see also Luck, G. (1958). "Zum Prooemium von Ovid Metamorphosen" Hermes 86, 499-500. More important still is R.J. Tarrant's 1982 review essay of A.'s Teubner edition ("Editing Ovid's Metamorphoses: Problems and Possibilities", CP 77) which offers actual manuscript evidence for illa and acutely observes that "the words nam vos mutastis et illa coming at the end of the second line, mark the point at which the meter reveals itself as hexameter rather than elegiac" (351n.35). Further reading on the subject: Knox, P.E. (1986) Ovid's Metamorphoses and the Traditions of Augustan Poetry. (Cambridge) 9; Mack, S. (1988), Ovid. (New Haven) 99; Anderson, W. (1993) "Form Changed: Ovid's Metamorphoses", in A.J. Boyle (ed.), Roman Epic, London and New York 108-124, here 109. By alluding playfully and straight away to "form changed" (from elegy to epic), Ovid introduces a cunning additional reference to metamorphosis into the opening lines. He also conjures up his own poetic past (which will reassert itself most forcefully in the text of the Metamorphoses) and underscores the intimate correlation between content and form throughout the poem. The announcement of his theme (in nova ... mutatas dicere formas corpora) has its equivalent in the changed nature of his literary medium (the gods have changed his poetic beginnings from elegiac distichs into epic hexameters). The statement is clearly programmatic: any reading of the poem needs to take both plot and poetics, Ovid's narrative material and the way he renders it, into careful consideration. It is sobering to ponder the profound heuristic implications of the removal of a single 's'.
6. At times A.'s explication seems more obviously excessive, as when he uses the commentary to fill in the narrative gaps of the poem. At p. 273, for example, he provides a version of Jupiter's (unreported) speech to Sol after the death of Phaethon: "You've had enough time to grieve and we've let you go this far; now it's time to get back to normal business, and stop this protracted self-indulgence. I expect you to be back at work at dawn tomorrow, or else." Whether this is a helpful elaboration of Ovid's text or merely a failure to respect the poet's artistic decision is an open question, but we incline to the latter view.
7. Very occasionally we have found ourselves in disagreement with A.'s translation, and mostly on minor matters. For example, at p. 419 A. seems to construe 4.63 conscius omnis abest as a vague precondition for the illicit conversations between Pyramus and Thisbe ("when such [sc. tutors and nurses] are absent, the two converse"); but it is surely better to take conscius with Melville and Miller in the sense of "accomplice", translating "they had no go-between".
8. Hardie, P. (1986) Virgil's Aeneid: Cosmos and Imperium (Oxford) 90-97.
9. Gnomon 61 (1989) 358.
10. There are frequent leaps of faith involving a linkage of form and ethics (e.g. p. 27: "Three instances of chiasmus in close succession force us to examine closely the morality about which Jupiter proves so casual and self-serving..."), and at times it appears that A. has a personal vendetta against Jupiter, whom he calls at one point "an unheroic, subhuman rat".
11. An important unifying element throughout the creation myths is the absence of amor, that is, Ovid's devious narrative policy of erotic exclusion. For the most recent study of this part of the poem, see Wheeler, S. (1995). "Imago Mundi: Another View of the Creation in Ovid's Metamorphoses" AJP 116: 95-121.
12. A. shows a nice touch when it comes to the intricate issue of Ovid's relation to Augustan culture. For instance, in his introduction to the Lycaon episode (p. 168), where Ovid first establishes an explicit analogy between his mythic material and Roman Realpolitik, A. comments: "This poetic Council and its mythic subject suddenly have contemporary repercussions, which generates a mixture of tone that is provocatively elusive." A.'s comment likewise has an elusive, Ovidian quality to it. His statement could elicit nodding approval from hard-core believers in Ovid's strident Anti-Augustanism, from those who see Ovid playing a double game of open respect and ironic undercutting, and from those who reckon that the cultural milieu of Ovid's Rome easily allowed for playful, even irreverent, analogies between events in the fictional universe of the Metamorphoses and the political conditions of the principate.
13. Karl Galinsky's provocative pages on "Ovid's Humanity: Death and Suffering in the Metamorphoses" in Ovid's Metamorphoses. An Introduction to the Basic Aspects (Berkeley and Los Angeles 1975) 110-157, nicely illustrate the interpretive complexities involved in combining historical awareness with present concerns.